Inspired by an Ernest Hemmingway quote, Kin is a project which blends together the Japanese art of Kintsugi and the word 'kin' - meaning family. Kintsugi (also known as Kintsukuroi) is the art of mending broken pottery using a gold lacquer. It shows that a break is part of the history and not something to hide; instead, we should celebrate it. This project is to portray that we are not broken, but whole, beautiful, and one.
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." - Ernest Hemmingway.
This project was created by Erin Wheatland and Daniel Filipe.
Hair, Makeup, and Gold Lines by Erin Wheatland
Photography and Retouch by Daniel Filipe
Ashley is from Florida but is currently living with her husband and young daughter in London. She was born without her right arm fully developed, allowing her to use a prosthetic, bionic forearm and hand. Self-confessed 'cyborg', Ashley works as a model and has also worked on Halloween nights, with makeup on her arm to show her as a zombie. She has also worked at Sea World and at Universal Orlando. Ashley chooses the colour of her bionic arms and is currently using a gold one.
Jasmine is a blend of Nigerian, Jamaican, and Chinese but has lived her whole life in the UK. She completed her Masters and now works as a specialist BIM/CAD consultant and models part time. She been published four times, including in Vogue Italia - Photovogue. Her work has lead her to her biggest achievement - being able to send her parents off on a dream holiday for their anniversary present. In the past, Jasmine has struggled with her body image but is now able to accept her curves and love them being a part of her.
Kathleen is half-French and has lived in India, China, South Africa, Dubai but is currently living in London, along with her family. Kathleen has Down's Syndrome, which means she has one more chromosome than is typical. Kathleen is working as a model and activist - she was in Elle List 2019 and spoken at the UN, as well as walking in fashion week shows. She enjoys singing and dancing, spending time with her family, and can speak both English and French.
Beatrix is from California and is in London studying Politics. She has a rare condition, often not diagnosed, called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which gives her the ability of extreme flexibility and hyper-mobility. She was trained in dance and has worked as a contortionist, something she many not be able to do if it were not for her condition. Although her condition can leave her with extreme fatigue or with dislocations, Beatrix has found ways to manage her time and conserve her energy in order to continue her studies and work.
Emmanuelle is from Sweden and was your typical biker girl. Whilst she was studying design, she was in a motoring accident which left her with a paralysed left arm. She underwent multiple surgeries and physiotherapy before being able to finish her studies. As she comes up to the 25th anniversary of the accident, she has regained some movement in her left arm and is now able to bend her arm at the elbow and bring her hand to her chest. She is a lover of symmetry, which she used in her design work, but has learnt to love being unsymmetrical.
Gemma is from Cambridge and was born with birthmarks covering a large amount of her body. She underwent multiple operations before the age of two, leaving her with scarring across her back and face. She is now body positive and is confident with showing her birthmarks at the beach and in public.
Maya lives in the UK but is originally from Belgium, although she now travels the world, working as a model. During our session, Maya revealed that she hadn't always had the closest of relationships with her mother but she has now grown a lot closer to her. Although she is glad that they are now able to build a relationship, she also told us that her mother is sick so they do not have long left together. Maya flew to Belgium the next day to be with her mother. Maya is able to find strength in nature and her artwork.
If you would like to be involved in The Kin Project, or know someone you think would be a good fit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org